Overwatch League team the Shanghai Dragons has confirmed today that it will relocate its players and staff to South Korea due to fears over the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The decision comes just a week before the Overwatch League’s third season is scheduled to begin.
Despite the limited amount of time left to rearrange the event, the organisation felt the decision was necessary to ensure the safety of its players and staff.
An official statement released by Shanghai Dragons stated:
“Our priority is to ensure the safety of all our players and staff along with providing the best possible environment for them to practice in,
“As such, after taking into consideration our match and practice schedule, we will be temporarily relocating all our players and coaching staff to Korea effective immediately.
“We have maintained close contact with the league throughout the past few weeks and hope to be able to provide you with updates soon.”
The Shanghai Dragons are the second Overwatch League team to temporarily relocate its players due to fears over the virus. It follows the Guangzhou Charge, which confirmed on Tuesday that it was moving its pre-season training camp to South Korea.
It is currently unclear whether other China-based teams the Chengdu Hunters and the Hangzhou Spark will follow suit.
Overwatch League season 3 to get underway
The Shanghai Dragons were set to begin their season in Shanghai on 15 February against fellow Chinese side the Chengdu Hunters. Despite concerns over whether to go ahead with the event, there has been no indication that it will be cancelled or postponed.
The third season of the Overwatch League will get underway on 8 February, as the Toronto Defiant take on the Paris Eternal.
The Shanghai Dragons will be hoping to go one step further in 2020 after being crowned Stage 3 champions last season. That followed a 42-match losing streak that saw them go the entire first season without a win.
Coronavirus has infected more than 5,000 people resulting in 130 deaths since the outbreak first began earlier this month. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Most of those infected are in Wuhan. However, cases have been reported across Asia, as well as Australia, Europe and North America.